Luke Holm earned bachelor's degrees in English and philosophy from NIU. He is a middle school teacher and a creative writer.
Calling All Poets!
This is a work in progress. Please help me in describing intangible experiences and objects for those people who are blind. In the comment section below add more visually unique experiences or add to my descriptions of the intangible experiences listed above. Eventually, I would like to add a community-generated section to this hub. I will be sure to link your poem/section to your page. Remember, don't use any imagery that involves sight.
If you think I could do better on some section, I would also love suggestions for improvement. This article is meant to help those who cannot see get a taste of visually-precious moments and experiences the sighted often take for granted.
If you are a person who is blind, please let me know your reaction to the provided imagery. What could I do better, and what worked well for you? Thank you!
Outer space is like normal space, except for the fact that it never ends.
It’s always above us, but can only be fully experienced after sunset.
There are countless stars in the sky.
Each one is like a pinhole poked through a tight blanket.
Warmth pours through these tiny holes,
while the rest of the blanket remains cold and lifeless.
Imagine the space between raindrops on a drizzly day.
That space is like outer space and each drop is like a star.
Around the stars are planets.
Have you ever felt a wire model of the solar system?
They are a bunch a various sized balls flying through space, revolving around stars.
There are things called nebulas, which look like they feel like a bag of jelly.
They are like bowls of water splashing back and forth.
However, they are too far to see with the naked eye.
As night progresses, the stars slowly move across the night sky like grains of sand blowing over a beach.
Space makes you feel very small.
It makes you wonder about meaning and purpose.
Space brings on a wide range of emotions, both sacred and secure, hopeless and blessed.
Space feels like the openness and expansiveness after a deep meditation.
It confuses death and life.
It’s like falling down an endless hole, and never touching the sides or reaching the bottom.
It seems like a dream.
Space can make us feel blind.
We never know if someone is looking back at us.
A cloud looks like how a ball of cotton feels.
You can pull it apart or enjoy its squishy nature.
Clouds are wispy and fluffy like cotton candy.
They seem squishy like a marshmallow, but you cannot actually touch them.
Instead, they would feel like walking through a mist.
They seem solid, though, and oh so cozy.
People imagine bouncing on them or snuggling in them like a soft, pillowy bed.
You almost want to hug it.
Sometimes the wind shapes them into forms that people imagine being various animals or creatures.
It’s almost like molding a ball of clay in random ways, and then seeing what it feels like.
They can be as small as a Frisbee or as big as a mountain.
Sometimes they take up the entire sky, like a blanket covering your bed.
They can move very slowly in the air, like a gently floating balloon,
or they can wash over the sky quickly like a wave of muddy water.
They can also be very intimidating and scary.
Before a storm they feel like a person who has been brooding and plotting revenge.
They seem to suffocate like a plume of smoke, choking out warmth and security.
Breathe into an inhaler to taste a cloud.
They are as kind and as a light wind, or as furious as a typhoon.
Fog is a misty cloud on the ground.
Imagine a steam room that’s cool instead of sweltering.
Tiny water droplets are all around.
It fills the space in between physical objects.
Distance seems near, claustrophobic, and tight.
Fog makes everything fuzzy, like being drunk or having a cold.
It makes everything distorted, like an echo.
It’s like saying something underwater, where you can hear it, but the words are jumbled.
Fog casts a thin sheet over the world, and can be very dangerous for drivers.
A thick fog only allows someone to perceive a few feet in front of them at a time.
It’s like reaching out with your hands, knowing the wall is just inches away,
but never being able to reach it.
Fog is mysterious.
You don’t know what’s out there.
A shadow is your body cast down upon the floor.
You are connected at the toes, extending outward
sometimes shorter and sometimes taller.
Imagine cutting out an outline of yourself from a piece of paper
and then placing the cutout on the ground in front of you.
Each movement you make the cutout follows.
Yet, you have depth and shadows do not.
A shadow is cast in the opposite direction of the sun.
If the sun is above you, your shadow is below you.
If the light is strong enough, all visible objects cast a shadow.
Even clear water casts a shadow, but is sloshing and unorganized.
Two shadows merging together
do not seem to overlap.
Rather, they become one,
diverging at various points
depending on the thing casting shadows.
This is how shadow puppets are made.
Children Describe Color to a Person Who is Blind
A rainbow is a splash of flavors across the sky.
Red is a bite of beef jerky.
Orange is a squeeze of juice.
Yellow tastes of subtle lemon water or hot water with lemon.
Green is a healthy garden and breath of fresh air.
Blue embodies cool water, and indigo looks almost the same.
Indigo is a mysterious color; one I don't understand.
Purple is lavish and luxurious, much like fine velvet.
These shades go from warm to cold, as wispy as a web to as dense as a lead vest.
A rainbow is raked across the sky in a drawn out arch.
The colors separate like dragging your fingers through sand.
Your fingers are like the true colors digging deepest.
The surrounding sands are blends called shades.
A rainbow is like the arch of water coming out from an upturned hose.
It only takes up a small portion of the space, yet it’s the only thing that captures your attention.
Sometimes they are stronger in pressure, and other times they are faint like sprinkler.
Like two points on a page, it seems like you know where it begins and ends.
Imagine yourself the size of the points and then located in the middle.
You feel like you can walk to one of the points, so you head in that direction.
Yet, the nearer you get to the point, the more it seems to retreat across the page.
They say that there is a pot of gold at the end of a rainbow.
However, this is impossible because a rainbow is actually a ring in the sky.
People only see it as an arch because they are limited by the horizon.
If you stood over it, it would be like a ringed halo hovering above a ball.
Shout your worries from a mountain.
Your voice is red and the distant echo an empty purple.
A sunrise is breathtaking and refreshing.
It’s warmth after a chilly night.
You didn’t know if you were going to make it,
but then your best friend came to save you.
A sunrise is like a mother snuggling her child and speaking words of love.
It’s like so many other wonderful moments in the world, brief.
Yet, like a first love, it leaves a lasting impression.
If nighttime is like sticking your hand in a bucket of water, then the sunrise is the beginning of that water slowly draining out.
The drying sensation is the light and the lack of liquid is the vastness of the sky.
A sunrise fills you with life and potential.
It makes you feel like a champion.
You can be anybody you want to be.
It makes you cry because life is so good.
A sunrise is even hard to explain because it's more about how it makes you feel than what it looks like.
People Describe Intangible Experiences to a Man Who is Blind
© 2017 JourneyHolm
Jay C OBrien from Houston, TX USA on September 09, 2017:
There is no one so blind as he who will not see.
Blindness of the mind is the real problem.
We need to work on ourselves to heal our minds of prejudice and hate.
There is second sight; telepathy or sometimes precognition.
JourneyHolm (author) on September 08, 2017:
Thank you, Ralph! Please let me know if my descriptions are weak at any point. It's actually a very difficult challenge to take on. I hope that by the end, this is polished and refined for those people who could benefit from it.
Ralph Schwartz from Idaho Falls, Idaho on September 08, 2017:
An admirable idea Luke - I'll definitely put my vocabulary hat on this weekend and try to offer you some assistance (although from what I read, your off to a solid start)